Do you ever wonder why dogs sleep with their mouths open? Is it normal for them to do this? Well, the answer is both yes and no.
It is normal for dogs to pant when they are hot or stressed, and this often causes them to sleep with their mouths open.
However, if your dog is constantly sleeping with his mouth open and seems to be doing fine otherwise, then it is probably nothing to worry about.
Read on to learn more about why dogs sleep with their mouths open and whether or not it is normal for them to do so.
Why Does My Dog Sleep With Its Mouth Open?
Here are some of the most common reasons why dogs sleep with their mouths open:
Your Dog Is Panting
One reason that dogs may sleep with their mouths open is that they are panting. Panting helps to cool a dog down when he is hot, and it also helps to relieve stress.
Since dogs don’t have sweat glands, this is a crucial and effective form of cooling for them. If your dog is panting and sleeping with his mouth open, it’s probably because he’s too hot.
Panting may be a sign of more serious conditions and may be a symptom of stress. These other underlying causes of nighttime panting could be Cushing’s disease, respiratory issues, or even heart disease.
Your Dog Has Allergies
If your dog is waking up with an open, dry, itchy mouth or has been licking his lips more than usual, he may be suffering from allergies. Allergies can cause a lot of discomfort and may even make it difficult for your dog to sleep or breathe properly at night.
Allergies can be caused by anything from environmental allergies (such as pollen or mold) to food allergies. Some additional signs of allergies in dogs include excessive scratching, red or watery eyes, and sneezing.
Your Dog is Actively Dreaming
If your dog is having an intense dream, it may start to pant or make other noises. Intense dreams are more likely to occur in puppies and young dogs, but any dog can have them from time to time.
You may notice your dog’s eyes moving rapidly back and forth under his eyelids while he is dreaming. This is called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and is a normal part of the sleep cycle for all mammals, including humans.
While most dreams are harmless, some dogs may act out aggressively or even hurt themselves if they become too excited during a dream. If your dog seems to be in distress while dreaming, wake him up and make sure he is okay.
Your Dog May Have Dementia
As your dog ages, it may start to experience cognitive decline, which is similar to dementia in humans. This can cause a number of changes in your dog’s behavior, including increased nighttime open-mouthed panting.
Dementia can be caused by many different things, including tumors, infections, and strokes. It can also gradually develop over time as your dog’s brain cells begin to age.
If you think your dog may have dementia, it is important to take him to the vet so that he can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Your Dog May Be in Pain
One final reason why your dog may be sleeping with his mouth open is that he is in pain. If your dog is panting heavily at night and seems to be in discomfort, he may be suffering from an injury or illness.
Your Dog Is Deeply Peacefully Sleeping
Just like humans, some dogs sleep more deeply than others. If your dog is a deep sleeper, he may be more likely to sleep with his mouth open.
This is because deep sleepers are less likely to be aroused by small noises or movements and are more likely to stay in a state of complete relaxation.
This leads to a loosening of the jaw, and your pup’s tongue may also hang out of its mouth while sleeping. If your dog is a deep sleeper, there’s no need to worry, as this is perfectly normal for him.
Is It Normal for a Dog to Sleep With Their Mouth Open?
It’s not necessarily a problem if your dog sleeps with its mouth open. You can tell if your dog is ok by other factors. Is its breathing regular? Is the pacing of the breathing slow and relaxed? Does your dog look like it’s in a comfortable position? If so, then everything is probably fine.
Things become abnormal when symptoms arise alongside open-mouthed behavior. This is how you can identify whether or not your dog’s open mouth sleeping is a problem.
If you’re worried that someone may be very wrong, the first thing to do is check your pup’s gums. They should be a healthy pink color.
If they’re pale, blue, or white, this is a sign of a lack of oxygen and you should take your pup to the vet as soon as possible.
If your dog is regularly breathing and the gums look healthy, it isn’t likely a life or death emergency.
What Should I Do if My Dog Sleeps With Their Mouth Open?
Here are some things you can do to help your dog if it’s sleeping with their mouth open:
Make Sure Your Dog is Comfortable
First, make sure your dog is comfortable. If they have a well-padded bed that supports their head, they may sleep with their mouth closed when their face is perched on the bed’s edge.
Lower the Temperature
If panting is occurring, your dog is most likely too warm. Check the temperature of the room and make sure it isn’t too hot. Dogs pant to release heat, so if they’re panting at night, chances are the room is too warm.
You can also leave out fresh cool water and provide your dog with cooling bedding to help minimize body heat.
Try Calming Aids
If your dog is having active dreams or even nightmares, supplements can be helpful in promoting calmness. CBD products, herbs such as chamomile, and essential oils can be added to your dog’s routine to help ease their anxiety and promote relaxation.
You can also try to use a calming collar or ThunderShirt which uses compression to help ease your dog’s anxiety.
Contact Your Vet
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from a serious issue such as Cushing’s disease or heart disease, call your vet right away. These conditions can cause your dog to pant excessively and can be very dangerous.
If all you’re noticing is a bit of a silly face on your dog and they seem calm otherwise, consider letting them be. Some dogs just sleep with their mouths open and there’s no harm in it.